Photographer Dane Manary has an impeccable eye for visual stories, and he is on point in capturing them too. Through the use of film, he embeds the ephemeral moments found in the busy and ever-changing urbanscape of New York City.
Dane got into film photography through skateboard magazines that he grew up with. During high school, he started saving up money for his very own Hasselblad camera. For Dane, photography is a reflection of how he sees his own life. Being able to capture the fleeting moments and details give him excitement. As someone who lives in New York, everything around him becomes endlessly picturesque. There's always the visual noise. Dane however loves it.
"My process is basically to practice "seeing." Photography parallels my life, and my drive to connect with those around me. There's so much mystery and you can't predict when and how I will be struck by a feeling, and that makes it exciting."
Dane is attracted to how the film medium is able to imbue elements of poetics into photographs. The magic of film makes every photograph special, unique, and "something that may never happen exactly the same way again".
The New Yorker easily gets inspired by people challenging the status quo and making things work for them in response to their eras – musicians like Ariel Pink and Gordon Parks are just a few that light up the passion within him.
In street photography, capturing the special moment is a treasure to the photographer. For Dane, one of his cherished moments captured on film was a photograph of a child walking beside a statue with "Black Lives Matter" written on it.
"I rode past the statue on my bicycle all the time, and one day I was riding back home from the protests in Manhattan and saw the boy perfectly in a spot of golden light. I have never seen someone up on the statue and haven't since, and the graffiti was cleaned off very quickly as well. This to me is an example of how the city changes so much from day to day, and deep, affecting moments happen every second."
The pandemic has proven to be challenging for him, but photography has aided him in coping. He noticed a change in him, how he finds solace on his camera more and more now compared to last year. "Before this year I would typically keep my camera on me at all times, but only shoot a roll of film every couple of weeks. This year I have been shooting dozens of rolls, more than ever before, and it feels really amazing."
Nowadays, Dane's experimenting with multiple art mediums such as collage, animation, and even writing as his way to get to know himself and his thoughts more.
"Throughout my life I've been timid and introverted, and street photography has been a wonderful way to engage with people, and at this point I would like to let more of myself show, however uncomfortable it may be."